The Queen is seeking solace from her family as she adjusts to life without her beloved husband Prince Philip. The monarch also has the difficult task of deciding who should attend his funeral.

Only 30 people, in addition to clergy, will be allowed to be present at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral service, according to current Covid guidelines in England.

The event was originally planned for 800 guests in St George’s Chapel, but will now have to take into account the strict limit on numbers.

The Queen’s four children and their spouses – Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Anne and Sir Timothy Laurence, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex – will undoubtedly be present.

The Queen and Philip also had eight grandchildren: Prince William, Prince Harry, Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

Prince William’s wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, as a future queen, will also be expected to attend.

The grandchildren’s other spouses – Mike Tindall, Jack Brooksbank and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi – may attend to support their wives, but the Queen might decide to include other relatives or members of the household instead.

While Harry is expected to travel from the US, it is thought Meghan, who is pregnant with her second child, will remain in California – particularly in the wake of the bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview in which the Sussexes accused an unnamed senior royal of racism.

Coming together for Philip’s funeral could help heal any tensions between the royal family and Harry, a leading religious figurehead has said.

“Many a family gather and get over tension and broken relationships at the time of a funeral,” said Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. “Something very profound unites them all again.”

It is also likely the Queen will invite her cousins and their spouses: Princess Alexandra, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, who have offered loyal support and service over the years.

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The Queen, Philip and their children together in 1968

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The Queen, Philip and their children together in 1968


And the Queen is close to the children of her late sister Princess Margaret – her nephew the Earl of Snowdon and niece Lady Sarah Chatto – and is likely to want them to be present as a source of comfort.

The Queen and Philip’s 10 great-grandchildren – Savannah and Isla Phillips; Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis of Cambridge; Mia, Lena and Lucas Tindall; Archie Mountbatten-Windsor; and August Brooksbank – are likely to be considered too young to attend the televised proceedings as all are aged 10 and under.

If Meghan does not attend, and Mr Tindall, Mr Brooksbank and Mr Mapelli Mozzi do, then the guest list would total 29, leaving just one place left.

This could be filled by Boris Johnson if the Queen decides to widen the invitation outside royal circles, or First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Tony Radakin in honour of Philip’s military service.

The Queen also has to decide whether the royal family will enter court mourning, dressing in black and using black-edged writing paper, or the alternative, shorter family mourning – dressing in black.

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